American Beauty: Appearance Versus Reality

1560 Words Jul 4th, 2011 7 Pages
American Beauty
Things Aren’t Always, As They Seem

American beauty (1999, Sam Mendes) is a very unique film with many different themes. The main characters in the film, Lester (Kevin Spacey) and Carolyn Burnham (Annette Bening) prove that there is a big difference in appearance versus reality. With the help of Colonel Frank Fitts, (Wes Bentley) we learn that people cannot just be judged by their outer appearance, but rather by what’s inside, because people are not always what they seem. Lester Burnham serves as the films narrator. He is an almost middle-aged father, husband and advertising executive. Obviously, his marriage with his uptight wife Carolyn is barely hanging on. Their sixteen-year-old daughter Jane (Thora Bucch) is a
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His actions are so unexpected from what we as an audience would have thought. In one scene Lester pulls up to a drive through line at Mr. Smileys and orders the big barn burger, smiley fries and an orange soda. Besides orderly a rather childish meal, the odd thing was that when he pulled up to the window he asked for a job application. The woman at the window responds with, “there’s no job for manager, it’s just for counter,” because based on Lester’s appearance he doesn’t seem like the type to work at a fast food restaurant. While Lester is happily flipping burgers as an employee at Mr. Smileys, he hears a voice of a couple customers over the intercom and realizes that one of the voices is his wife Carolyn’s, but he doesn’t know who the mans is yet. In the car, Carolyn says to Buddy, another real estate agent that she is clearly having an affair with, “I think we deserve a little junk food after the workout we had this morning.” Buddy leans over and kisses Carolyn’s neck just as they are pulling up to get their food. Lester says cheerfully, “Smile, you’re at Mr. Smiley’s!” Carolyn is stunned and replies, “uh, buddy, this is my…” Lester interrupts with “Her husband, we’ve met before, but something tells me you’re going to remember me this time.” This is my favorite scene because Lester’s reaction is so out of the ordinary. A person in his same situation would have reacted by yelling, screaming or hitting, but Lester appears